This pilot study compared and evaluated lifeguard perceptions of accidents and rescues with actual accident and rescue reports. Although lifeguards were relatively accurate in identifying locations, they were not so in identifying causes. Obviously, knowing what causes accidents is the first step in their reduction or prevention. Additional analysis was conducted on lifeguard perceptions of obstacles and challenges to vigilance and the value of in-service training and periodic staff meetings. All are important components of providing a safe swimming environment. It should be noted that this study was limited in size and scope and should be followed by more geographically diverse research.